Moving from the coast to the north, the Milwaukee Brewers are on top of a crazy NL Central and poised to be economic buyers at the deadline. Many had the St. Louis Cardinals as their preseason picks to win that division, but the Cardinals are suffering from the "everything is going wrong" bug, and that division is wide open. The Cincinnati Reds are one hot streak away from overtaking the Brewers, and every NL Central team has at least 43 wins this year, making it one of only two divisions to reach that mark. The Brewers need to prepare for the season's second half, rather than looking straight ahead to the postseason.
In a cruel twist of faith, Joel Payamps is one of the Brewers best relievers, posting a 3.07 FIP in 46 1/3 innings this season. The team also has Devin Williams, coming off his second consecutive All-Star selection. Elvis Peguero and Bryse Wilson look solid in the box score but are far from perfect this year. The Brewers' bullpen feels extremely shallow this season, filled with castoffs from around MLB. It is not a terrible roster construction approach, but they were castoffs for a reason. This puts some more pressure on each starter in a rotation that features several average guys behind Corbin Burnes.
The Brewers have not been an all-in franchise as of late, preferring more economical moves. There are no needs that they cannot address with low-level moves or with the addition of Sal Frelick. There are plenty of bats the Brewers could use to address a below-average offense, but they need to add a specific player in the bullpen. They need to add a known commodity—a player that has been performing well for years, not just for a short period of time. Plus, getting an arm with some remaining contractual control would be nice. Barlow would fit this profile, giving the Brewers another year of control via arbitration.
This could just be me trying to manifest the Royals trading with the Brewers during this period. There are several intriguing players, such as pitchers Abner Uribe and Justin Jarvis, that could help the Royals. It is hard to ignore how well Barlow would fit in Milwaukee, though.